High Ranking Official Highlights Appointment of Chief Counsel for Corporate Enforcement as Evidence of New Focus
This past Monday, the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, Marshall Miller, announced during a panel on white-collar crime that the Department of Justice has increased its focus on corporate crimes, highlighting the appointment of the National Security Divisions first chief-counsel. In addition to the appointment, the national security division is in the process of revamping their division with the hire of 25 new prosecutors who will focus on sanctions evasion and export control violations, in addition to money-laundering and asset recovery. Prosecutors have shifted focus to some areas of law that are not necessarily associated with what people commonly think of as national security interests, but nonetheless impact American interests abroad. “Agriculture and concrete are not areas like financial services or defense industries where you expect to see national security corporate cases,” Miller said. “But we’re seeing them more and more.”
DOJ Launches Pilot Program to Monitor Compensation Incentives and Claw Backs for Certain Companies
In March the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a three-year pilot program related to companies that enter into a corporate resolution involving the Criminal Division of the DOJ. In doing so, it established criteria related to the clawback of compensation and bonuses of alleged corporate wrongdoers relative to corporate compliance programs. Companies that clawback executive compensation may qualify to seek a reduction in fine, as the aim of the program is to shift the penalties being felt by those who perpetrated any corporate wrongdoing and away from shareholders. If the criteria are met, companies that seek to claw back compensation from individuals can seek a reduction in their fines or penalties. Although the program only applies to companies that have resolved a corporate criminal matter with the federal government, it is expected to have an impact on a larger number of corporations as companies will be on notice about what the DOJ expects for corporate governance. With the increased attention, resources, and programs being put into effect, individuals and organizations should be prepared to see enhanced scrutiny and enforcement action in the coming months and years.